10 ways to go green with Linux

Editor’s note: Most people write about Linux as if it’s the only free and open source operating system in use. They seem to forget, or are ignorant, or have no knowledge of the BSD operating systems. I am referring to OpenBSD, NetBSD, FreeBSD, PC-BSD, and a few others. If I wrote this article, I would have titled it “10 ways to go green with Linux and BSD operating systems.” But I am not the author, so we are stuck with the title.

1: Reduced landfill

With Linux, you can keep using that older hardware even while using the latest version of your distribution. When you use Linux, you don’t have to throw away ugly packaging that typically comes with software. And there are no transportation costs required to ship distributions from a warehouse to your retail store. According to a UK study in 2004, Windows users are required to upgrade their computers twice as often as Linux users: “Industry observers quote a typical hardware refresh period for Microsoft Windows systems as 3 – 4 years; a major UK manufacturing organization quotes its hardware refresh period for Linux systems as 6 – -8 years.”

2: Powertop

This little gem of an application can help you learn how to make your laptops (and desktops) more efficient. When you run Powertop, it will examine your system and give you tips on how to better your energy performance. When I run Powertop on my laptop, I get: “Suggestion: Disable ‘hal’ from polling your cdrom with: hal-disable-polling –device /dev/scd0 ‘hal’ is the component that auto-opens a window if you plug in a CD but disables SATA power saving from kicking in.” Some of the suggestions will even tell you how much wattage you can save by killing (or configuring) services. Even though the man page for Powertop states it is for Intel-based machines, it will work on AMD machines as well.

3: Netbooks Read the rest of this article here

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